It’s that time of the year, when Valentine’s Day doth appear. And whether you’re out all day with your significant other, or spending the day alone cuddled up in a blanket and the TV, or having an Anti-V Day party with friends, you can’t escape from the magic of romantic Bollywood movies.
To help you spend your day better, here’s a list (in no particular order):
Who’s in it? – Dilip Kumar & Madhubala
What’s it about? – A classic recreating the popular story of Mughal prince Salim who falls in love with a beautiful courtesan Anarkali. Their love is taboo, and it causes a divide between Salim and his father the Emperor Akbar. Their doomed love results in separation, but only after a huge spectacle.
What’s romantic about it? – Defying all customs and traditions for love, even sacrificing yourself. And it’s supposedly a true story!
Most romantic moment? – Poetic passion as Salim caresses Anarkali’s face with a feather, Anarkali’s defiant declaration of love by singing Pyar Kiya to Darna Kya.
2. Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge
Who’s in it? – Shah Rukh Khan & Kajol
What’s it about? – Two NRIs unexpectedly fall in love while on a tour in lush landscapes abroad. But the culmination is traditional. A film that redefined young romance for India, it is perhaps the only film that is synonymous with romance for everyone.
What’s romantic about it? – What can be more romantic than falling in love, and doing it with a conscience. DDLJ brings two people who choose to convince others of their love, rather than being defiant of it.
Most romantic moment? – As Simran finally realises her love for Raj, she rushes after hearing the sound of his voice. There he is, with open arms. And she runs to him amongst the mustard fields, with an embrace. And they realise they were meant to be. AND Simran’s father lets her go realising that she is meant to be with Raj. As the train starts to move, Simran runs along the platform, finally grabbing Raj’s hand and joining him on the train just like she did when they first met.
Who’s in it? – Guru Dutt & Waheeda Rehman (with Mala Sinha)
What’s it about? – A melancholy musical drama about a poet who falls in love with a prostitute amongst some of the most beautiful and ethereal poetry. This one is about the heartbreak in love.
What’s romantic about it? – The relationship between Vijay and Gulabo is more than just love, or poet and muse, it’s about going beyond social conventions. Love is greater than all worldly possessions and societal norms, as the couple proves in the end.
Most romantic moment? – Mesmerized Vijay follows Gulabo as she sings Jaane Kya Tune Kahi. AND Vijay renounces the world, Gulabo slowly joins him. Neither speaks a word, and they go into the horizon in search of a better future together.
4. Maine Pyar Kiya
Who’s in it? – Salman Khan & Bhagyashree
What’s it about? – Two friends coming from two different stratas of society fall in love. In a twist, the rich boy has to prove his love, rather than the opposite.
What’s romantic about it? – Suman and Prem’s love is pure, innocent and untainted, and is more of a bond of companionship and helping each other. Moreso, the rich handsome boy falls for the simple girl immediately. He doesn’t choose her after trying with others.
Most romantic moment? – Prem writes Suman a letter telling her that her joy and sorrow is his. AND Prem, almost in tears, handing over his hard-earned money to Suman’s father.
Who’s in it? – Rishi Kapoor & Dimple Kapadia
What’s it about? – Two teenagers fall in love. The boy is rich but lonely, the girl poor but vivacious.
What’s romantic about it? – At a time when love stories were out of fashion, Bobby redefined intense romance. It was fresh and while the story was done to death, it was about youngsters rather than adults. Also, this film is about a girl who helps a boy overcome his shortcomings and inhibitions to become a confident and rebellious young man.
Most romantic moment? – Bobby and Raj driving off on his motorcycle, Bobby and Raj sing Hum Tum Ek Kamron mein Bandh Ho.
Who’s in it? – Rajesh Khanna & Sharmila Tagore
What’s it about? – A young woman falls in love with an Air Force Pilot. And although her romance is shortlived, she goes through a long and grueling journey for a promise she made to him, making it a stronger bond than most.
What’s romantic about it? – Superstar Rajesh Khanna first out and out solo romantic hero film. The film explored love of three kinds – passionate as seen between Arun and Vandana, flirty and fun between Suraj and Renu, and a strong maternal love between Vandana and Suraj. Most importantly it was about how far a woman would go to keep her lover’s wish alive.
Most romantic moment? – Vandana accidentally throws a bucket of water on Arun which is their first meeting. AND Vandana and Arun consummate their relationship in a thunderstorm to Roop Tera Mastana
7. Kabhi Kabhie
Who’s in it? – Amitabh Bachchan, Raakhee, Shashi Kapoor, Waheeda Rehman, Rishi Kapoor & Neetu Singh
What’s it about? – Poet/writer Amit and Pooja fall in love, only to have her wed another. Years later, a romance between their children brings the still hurt Amit face to face with his one-time love,
What’s romantic about it? – This film makes you reevaluate relationships. It is also about being able to forgive in love. Most importantly, it shows us four unforgettable love stories across generations – Amit and Pooja’s utopic love, Pooja and Vijay’s marital romance, Amit and Anjali’s understanding and Vicky and Pinky’s pyaar-takraar. Watch it for the poetry, and the visual appeal. It’s also Yash Chopra’s first film in his signature style.
Most romantic moment? – Varied but one which stands out is the scene in which Amit and Vijay finally talk about their love for the same woman face to face. They both define their love for her in their own inimitable styles.
Who’s in it? – Amitabh Bachchan, Rekha (with Jaya Bachchan & Sanjeev Kumar)
What’s it about? – Two ex-lovers embark on an extra-marital affair but are forced to reevaluate their lives once they see who they are hurting.
What’s romantic about it? – Although the film didn’t do well at first, it gained cult status as it paralleled the real life of its main characters. The oozing chemistry between Rekha and Amitabh, who was already married to Jaya by the time, made the film more interesting.
Most romantic moment? – Anything with Rekha and Big B. All thanks to Late Yash Chopra.
9. Qayamat se Qayamat Tak
Who’s in it? – Aamir Khan & Juhi Chawla
What’s it about? – In yet another modern adaptation of Romeo & Juliet, two youngsters get stuck on a journey together, only to fall in love. Much to their chagrin of their families, who have been feuding for years.
What’s romantic about it? – A trendsetter for defiant romance, this film oozes romance thanks to the chemistry between two debutantes who shot to stardom after its release.
Most romantic moment? – Raj and Rashmi getting lost in the woods. AND Raj and Rashmi in each other’s arms as the sun finally bids them farewell for the last time.
Who’s in it? – Shah Rukh Khan & Preity Zinta (with Rani Mukerji)
What’s it about? – The perhaps ill-fated love between a man and woman from two different countries with a feuding history. Both are forced to live away from each other but they do to keep each other’s dignity and proud memory alive.
What’s romantic about it? – The film focuses on the people of two warring countries, rather than the politics. Circumstances are the only villain, and yet their romance is timeless because they keep it alive with their good deeds.
Most romantic moment? – Veer and Zaara have a final embrace before she is off to get married, and he to return to his home country. AND The couple reliving their young moments in Tere Liye.
11. Kuch Kuch Hota Hai
Who’s in it? – Shah Rukh Khan & Kajol (with Rani Mukerji)
What’s it about? – Two friends get another chance at falling in love, due to the meddling of the man’s precocious young daughter.
What’s romantic about it? – You never know when life gives you a second chance at love. Rahul is a widower who finds love again, Anjali gets her first love back. Also, what’s not romantic about ‘Love is Friendship’?
Most romantic moment? – Rahul and Anjali dance in the rain.
12. Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam
Who’s in it? – Ajay Devgn & Aishwarya Rai (with Salman Khan)
What’s it about? – A husband decides to go against his family and social conventions to reunite his wife with her former lover.
What’s romantic about it? – Nandini realises the importance of ‘Pyar Nibhana’ over ‘Pyar Karna’ and returns to Vanraj. And they live happy ever after. Romantic as hell.
Most romantic moment? – Nandini runs across the bridge to stop Vanraj. After the usual professing, they embrace. Fireworks.
Who’s in it? – Dilip Kumar, Suchitra Sen & Vyjayanthimala (1955); Shah Rukh Khan, Aishwarya Rai & Madhuri Dixit (2002)
What’s it about? – Two of the many adaptations of a Bengali novel follow the life of a wealthy educated lawyer who returns to his hometown and rekindles the romance with his childhood companion. When circumstances separate them, he takes to alcohol, and even the unrequited love of a courtesan cannot bring him back.
What’s romantic about it? – Not all love stories have happy endings. Ironically, Devdas has both the compassion of Paro, and the loyalty of Chandramukhi, but death is inevitable because he is the tragic hero. The simplicity of Bimal Roy, and the opulence of Sanjay Leela Bhansali.
Most romantic moment? – When Shah Rukh’s Devdas sees Ash’s Paro for the first time, the innocent banter between Dilip’s Devdas and Suchitra’s Paro.
14. Jab We Met
Who’s in it? – Shahid Kapur & Kareena Kapoor
What’s it about? – A young man down and out on his luck decides to go where destiny may take him. On his way, he meets a bubbly and vivacious girl with a zest for life, soon realizing that she is his destiny.
What’s romantic about it? – Jab We Met is the epitome of the modern day romance. There’s nothing theatrical about it, and the characters are mature to handle their love and its declaration sensibly. But most importantly, its not only about two people falling in love after a few hiccups, but about helping each other become better and happier human beings.
Most romantic moment? – Aditya imagining and romancing Geet in Tum Se Hi. AND Geet finally realises her love for Aditya. Realizing that it may become too late, she rushes to him, ending in an embrace and a passionate kiss. Aditya reciprocates and wedding bells are heard.
Who’s in it? – Raj Kapoor & Nargis (with Nimmi & Prem Nath)
What’s it about? – Two sets of lovers have a similar romance. As the monsoon season approaches, one story ends in happiness, the other culminates in doom.
What’s romantic about it? – Raj Kapoor and Nargis. and their many trials and tribulations, but triumphant end. End of story.
Most romantic moment? – Vagabond Pran meets demure Reshma in the moonlight to share moments.
Which will be your pick for today?